Keynote speakers

Justin Boyles: Optimal Hibernation in Bats

Dr Justin Boyles is an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Southern Illinois University in the United States. He began studying hibernating bats nearly 20 years ago, first the natural history of tree-cavity and foliage-roosting species during winter, and later, the ecology and physiology of cavernicolous bats. During a post-doc in South Africa, Dr Boyles became more broadly interested in expression of the thermoregulatory phenotype across a wide diversity of mammals and birds. Now, he uses hibernating bats as a tractable model system for predicting and testing the factors that drive optimal expression of thermoregulation in endotherms. His work on hibernating bats spans the spectrum from natural history and ecology to disease biology and physiology. He has worked on thermoregulatory patterns of tree, building, and cave bats, metabolic functioning during hibernation and summer, appropriate methods for describing microclimate and torpor patterns in bats, white-nose syndrome, and theoretical treatments of optimal hibernation.

Wieslaw Bogdanowicz: From the editor’s perspective: Acta Chiropterologica and 20 years of bat research

Wieslaw Bogdanowicz is a Full Professor at the Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), Warsaw, Poland. His scientific career started at the beginning of the 1980s at the Mammal Research Institute PAS in the middle of the primeval forest in Bialowieza. Initially, he was much interested in relationships between morphology (incl. geometric morphometrics), phylogeny and evolution of bats. His PhD, which was awarded by the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, focused on the morphology and taxonomy of Daubenton’s bat in Europe. His next scientific degree, habilitation, was defended at the Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals PAS in Cracow. It was devoted to phenetic and phylogenetic relationships in the family Rhinolophidae. Of high importance are also his studies on bat diet (incl. a metagenomic approach) and connections between skull and wing, and echolocation. He was a fellow of Fulbright (USA) and Alexander von Humboldt (Germany) Foundations. He is a winner of the Gerrit S. Miller Jr. Award (USA, 2010) “in recognition of outstanding service and contribution to the field of chiropteran biology ”. In 1999 he established Acta Chiropterologica — the only journal fully devoted to bats, which is indexed by Thomson Scientific. However, Wieslaw’s interests are very broad. He was a co-editor of The Atlas of European Mammals (Poyser, 1999) and The Polish Fauna (five volumes since 2004). Presently, his work is based mainly on genetics and genomics. He explores contemporary and ancient DNA of various organisms, including flies of forensic significance, bats (analyses of 4,300 year old guano, their diet at wind farms, family-relationships, connections between rabies and population genetics), carnivores, and humans (incl. the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus). In 2019 he was elected a member of the IUCN Canid Specialist Group.